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August 24, 2017

Fiscal update shows continued disarray of NDP fiscal house: UCP

The release of the NDP government’s First Quarter Fiscal Update reveals what Albertans have known for a long time. Suppressed average weekly earnings, ever-climbing debt servicing costs and everyday Albertans and Alberta businesses continuing to feel the pain of the economic downturn, ultimately reinforces that the NDP government has no path back to balance, the United Conservative Party Official Opposition said today.

The fiscal update also shows that the NDP government continues to hope for pie-in-the-sky oil projections to get their fiscal house in order as opposed to doing the difficult work of finding comprehensive efficiencies and savings.   Here are the numbers:

  • Revenue is down $648 million
  • Debt servicing costs have climbed to over $1.4 billion, or approximately the same as the entire Justice and Solicitor General budget
  • Income tax down $312 million from Budget 17
  • Corporate tax down $53 million from Budget 17

“This fiscal update is yet another opportunity for Albertans to see that the NDP government is out of their league when it comes to running Alberta’s finances,” UCP Interim Leader Nathan Cooper said. “The NDP seem to content to slide money from one ledger to another to make it look like they are on a path to balance, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. They are putting future generations of Albertans in jeopardy with their refusal to focus on fiscal responsibility.”

UCP Finance Critic Ric McIver questioned how the NDP government could say their plan is working, when their job creation is propped up by Alberta taxpayers: 41,900 of 48,500 created from June 2016 to June 2017 were in the public sector.

“There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors involved in this fiscal update, and common sense Albertans won’t buy it,” McIver said. “If the NDP were truly serious about getting their fiscal house in order, they would stop depending completely on an oil recovery and start listening to the job creators in our province who have the ability to restore investor confidence in Alberta.”